Revealed: Malta’s shocking obesity crisis in numbers

Maltese people should walk briskly for 10 minutes a day to stay healthy, according to health chiefs.

Doctors said just 10 minutes of brisk walking a day is an easy way for adults to introduce physical activity into their day and reduce their risk of early death by up to 15 per cent.

In Malta, more than 70 per cent of adults are physically inactive, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

Health expert Professor Sir Muir Gray said: ‘The additional health benefits that can be achieved by walking at a brisk pace for periods of 10 minutes or more – as opposed to totting up a certain number of steps throughout the day – are undeniable.

‘I’d advise anyone of any age and activity level to start to fit in at least one 10-minute brisk walk a day as a simple way to get more active, especially those who may be taking medication for a long-term health condition – you will receive even more benefits from walking briskly for 10 minutes or more a day.’

Malta’s shocking health crisis in numbers

• Malta is the least physically active country in the world, with 71.9 per cent of Maltese people qualifying as inactive.

• Maltese children are the least physically active in the EU. Only one in four is physically active.

• Malta has one of the highest obesity rates in the EU (22 per cent), far in excess of Italy (almost 10 per cent)

• A total of 58 per cent of Maltese adults are overweight and 22 per cent are obese.

• Malta has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world, with over 25 per cent being obese.

• Malta has the highest prevalence of Type II diabetes in the EU – 10 per cent compared to 2-3 per cent of European neighbours.

• Less than one per cent of Maltese cycle regularly – the lowest in the EU.

• Malta has one the highest binge-drinking rates in the EU, including 15- and 16-year-olds.

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